Uses For 10 Everyday Items

Coffee filters: After you spray windows with cleaner use coffee filters to wipe them. They won’t leave streaks or lint.

Aluminum foil: Fold a sheet of foil several times and cut through it with a pair of dull scissors to sharpen the blades.

Rubbing alcohol: Simply pour some alcohol over an ink stain and wipe it with a soaked cotton ball.

WD-40: This household product handily removes crayon marks from most surfaces.

Hand lotion: Besides doing a good job of keeping your shoes shiny it will ensure that the leather stays soft and supple.

Alka Seltzer: Grind up some aspirin tablets and mix them with a couple of teaspoons of water to relieve the itch of a mosquito bite. Also, if you drop a few Alka Seltzer tablets into the water around your fishing hole, the bubbling action will attract fish.

Honey: Some varieties of honey can be used as a very effective antibacterial agent and will also reduce scarring on wounds.

Bananas: Just rub the inside of a banana peel over your silverware and watch the tarnish disappear.

Toothpaste: Save money by using toothpaste to clean sink fixtures and even eliminate garlic odor from your hands after cooking.

Cinnamon: Keep ants at bay. Just sprinkle it around your home wherever you have an ant issue.

Larry Cirnigliaro | FOR ALL YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS! | CELL: (714) 394-6649
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What should I know about buying an historic home?

A. Buying an historic home is a romantic idea. You’ve seen a home that you fell in love with and you want it!

But there are some important things to know beforehand. Many of these homes are in some state of disrepair. That can lead to potential problems for a number of reasons.

You may already have some ideas of things you want to do to your historic home, but before you make any changes to the structure itself, you need to do some research and make sure you have the answers to these questions:

1. Is your home designated as historic – part of a state or federal historical building or neighborhood registry? If so, you may have to adhere to a number of regulations and be subject to some historical preservation oversight in order to update the home. There will be many limitations to what you can and cannot do.

2. How extensive do you want the updates to be? Often these homes require all new plumbing and electrical just to get up to local codes. And beware if you are planning to add on to the structure as most communities will not allow you to change the original “footprint” of a designated historic house. Many will not even allow you to change the exterior look of the existing structure.

3. How authentic do you want the renovations to be? The more accurate the details, such as spindle bannisters and intricate moldings, the higher the cost in materials and labor. Just painting one of these homes in several different colors can be a very expensive undertaking.

Find out if there are any local or state subsidies for historic preservation for homes in your area. You could get tax breaks and special home improvement loans or other assistance. Contact your local housing authority for more information.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has some excellent resources for homeowners of older or historic homes. There are also a number of websites that cater to historic homes, such as historicproperties.com and thisoldhouse.com.

As you can see, there is much to know. I’d be more than happy to discuss this further with you and answer any questions you may have. Just give me a call!

Study: Golf Courses Still Drive Up Home Values

REALTOR® Magazine Online | Developers have expressed concern that golf courses are losing favor with homeowners in high-end communities, but a new study shows they still boost home values. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University evaluated more than 10,000 home sales in the state’s Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties in 2015. They found that property values for homes adjacent to a golf course increased an average of 8 percent to 12 percent.

“Preliminary results from statistical pricing models suggest that properties receive a pricing boost,” says Ken Johnson, an associate dean of graduate programs and professor at FAU’s College of Business. “Thus, there is strong evidence to conclude that golf courses remain a positive draw to potential property owners.”

Yet the study comes at a time when more than 800 golf courses have closed in the U.S. in the last decade. Some developers and municipalities are seeking to convert underperforming and financially constrained golf courses into other housing developments. “The strong statistical evidence supporting a pricing boost for being adjacent to a golf course should help property owners, developers, and city officials make quicker and more financially fair decisions,” says Ksenija Bogosavljevic, who is working with Johnson on FAU’s study.

Most common passwords used.

RealtorMag.com | The obvious password you use for your devices may be making you vulnerable to a data breach. Keeper Security, a password management software firm, analyzed more than 10 million login details leaked online through data breaches that occurred in 2016.

The most popular password that continues to be used: “123456,” which the firm’s analysis showed was used 17 percent of the time by hacked accounts. The next most common password was the similar “123456789.”

The firm did note one piece of progress on the password front: The word “password” finally dropped from fifth position on the list to now eighth.

Here were the most commonly used passwords in 2016, according to Keeper Security. If you find one of your passwords on the list, be sure to go change your password now!

1. 123456

2. 123456789

3. qwerty

4. 12345678

5. 111111

6. 1234567890

7. 1234567

8. password

9. 123123

10. 987654321

Play Up Your Stellar School Rating

Daily Real Estate News | Good schools pay off in a home sale. Indeed, having a high rating on sites like GreatSchools, which rates public schools based on statewide assessments, can be a boon to a home’s value. Realtor.com® researchers analyzed 1.6 million home listings in the U.S. through the first six months of 2016 and found that houses in public-school districts with GreatSchools’ highest ratings, 9 or 10, were priced on average 77 percent higher than homes in nearby districts with scores of 6 or lower.

Furthermore, homes that are located in top districts sell four days faster – 58 days, versus the national median of 62 days, realtor.com®’s analysis notes.

Survey: Higher Rates Don’t Scare Buyers

Daily Real Estate News | Despite mortgage rates being on the rise home buyers say the increases aren’t scaring them away from their real estate search, according to a new Redfin survey.

Though mortgage rates have moved higher, borrowers on the whole are still appreciating how low they are historically and are taking advantage of the opportunities still at hand before rates move any higher. Despite nine consecutive weeks of rises in mortgage rates, the annual average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.65 percent in 2016 – the lowest annual average ever recorded by Freddie Mac.

Twenty-five percent of respondents say the rise in rates does not impact their home buying decisions, and about 24 percent say they feel a greater sense of urgency to buy before rates go up further.

First Increase in over a Decade as FHFA Announces New Loan Limits

FHFA.gov | The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2017 will increase.

As of Jan. 1, households will be able to get larger FHA loans for their home purchase. In high-cost areas borrowers will be able to get loans as high as $636,150, almost $11,000 more than what they were able to get in 2016. In low-cost areas, they’ll be able to get loans for up to $275,665. That’s up from $271,050.

Is the Home Office on Its Way Out?

realtor.org | The home office is becoming less important to homeowners, even though more people are working from home now than ever before.

Homeowners are finding less need for a central space for their work, according to a recent article in Bloomberg. Developers are realizing the change and are adopting house plans to accommodate the greater desire for open spaces instead. They’re adding in workplace nooks and power stations rather than an entirely separate space to work from.

Homeowners’ needs for a dedicated office with a big computer, fax, and printer are fading. Workers are no longer tethered by a cord and are favoring laptops and mobile accessories to do their work. That allows homeowners to take their work anywhere around the home, from their kitchen and living room to their bedroom.